6 Things to Look for in Rhode Island Contractors
The right Rhode Island contractor can bring your home renovation plans to life. Without a quality builder, even the masterwork of a highly skilled architect will never be anything more than a stack of pretty drawings.
When you're considering different Rhode Island contractors to turn your dream into reality, make sure you do your homework. Here are six things that you should look for when you're researching and conducting interviews. Don't work with a contractor who doesn't measure up.
1. Proper Licensing
Rhode Island contractors must be licensed by the state. Be sure to ask your potential contractor about his or her licensing. If they are not properly licensed, you should walk away. You should also always check the status of your contractor for yourself by calling the Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board at 401-222-1270 or going online to www.crb.state.ri.us. Another source to use is the Rhode Island Builders Association.
How much experience does your contractor have? Have they ever built a project like yours? Yes, it's true that even the most experienced contractors were once new and green and given a chance by someone like you. Only you can decide if you want to be that person, and your decision should factor in the size of your project.
Keep in mind that there's a big difference between remodeling a small bathroom and renovating an entire home. For larger and/or more complicated renovations, seriously consider working with someone who has plenty of experience in the type of renovation you want done. After all, you're paying good money and YOU will be the one living with the results for years to come.
3. Skilled Artisans
Construction is a skilled trade. There are many specialties (e.g. custom cabinetry, custom stair builders, etc.), each requiring its own set of knowledge and skills that must be mastered. Be sure that your contractor uses skilled craftsmen who have the necessary expertise.
4. Excellent Reviews
The best way to find the skill level of your contractor is to check references. Ask the contractor where you can see completed projects similar to yours. Call and talk to former customers. Arrange an in person tour of the project, if possible. It may take some legwork on your part, but it is easier to do some extra work now than to do costly repairs later.
Check online reviews as well from places like Houzz. (You can check out our reviews on Houzz right here.)
5. Network of Competent Partners
Very few contractors do everything in-house. They rely on suppliers and subcontractors to get the materials and specialized labor they need. The best Rhode Island contractors have a network of industry partners they work with regularly, partners they know and trust. If you are dealing with a good contractor, they will take pride in the companies they collaborate with.
6. Proper Insurance
What will happen if someone is injured at your job site? Who will be liable? If your contractor does not have proper insurance, it will be you. The damages could easily top $100,000. Working with a contractor who does not carry proper insurance is asking for disaster. Make sure your contractors are insured (ask for proof, and/or have it written into any contracts).
When researching Rhode Island contractors, be sure to evaluate them in these six areas. Do the work now to avoid complications and headaches later.